A Fan of the Game

Sports Talk, Straight Talk

Philadelphia wins… unfortunately

Nathan was nice enough to give the nice side of the story but I will not.

I was willing to be nice to Philadelphia but after the owner of the Phillies told fans to congratulate the Rays on a good season, more than 75% of the fans booed.  Show some class.  You have obtained the title as worst fans in the world (although you kind of already had it).  You beat a team who came from worst-to-first, dethroned the Red Sox (who you would have easily got beaten by), and you boo them.  That is truly disgusting.  Enjoy not winning another title for another 25 years.  That is your kharma.

I have nothing against the players, though.  I have always been a Cole Hamels fan (not just because his wife is hot), and it was good to see Brad Lidge get the save, after everything in Houston.  I hope his streak ends soon, however, because I am not a fan of someone being undefeated.  I like to see people humbled.

As much as I want to shout the Phillies suck, I can’t because they really are good.  Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Shane Victorino, Cole Hamels, Brad Lidge, etc.

As for the Rays, they are not going to be good like this again next year.  I picked them in this World Series because most of the time, heart beats skill, but not this time.  They are the new Colorado Rockies (remember they were in the Series a year ago).  Next year is Toronto’s time to shine.  Halladay deserves it.

For all the Philly fans, two words: JOE CARTER!!!

Go Blue Jays!!!

Epic Win

Epic Win

-Ray

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October 30, 2008 Posted by | Baseball | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Shocktober!!!

Let’s do some math.

162 games + 48 saves + 11 wins + 40 man roster = x

Luckily, the MLB has done the math for us and solved for x.

X is equal to 1 World Championship for the city of Philadelphia.

A mixture of young all-stars and old veterans and one hell of a manager has led the Philadelphia Phillies to another world series title.

Everybody knew Philadelphia was good, but never this good. And no one would have predicted them to win over the Tampa Bay Rays. Congrats to the Rays on a phenomenal season and once again, congrats to all you Philadelphians.

Next year, the title is going to the north side of Chicago.  Hmm…I think I have heard this before, once or twice!

Lets Go Cubs!!!

Its gonna happen... they think.

It's gonna happen... they think.

-Nate

October 30, 2008 Posted by | Baseball | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dissecting the Blue Jays

This Blue Jays team as of late has shown the MLB what it can really do once it gets rolling. It was necessary for GM J.P. Ricciardi to fire then manager John Gibbons. He had shown the Jays’ potential but could never really activate the potential when need be. So it was time for a change. Former Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston replaced him and had a goal of a .500 record before the All-Star break. Toronto came close but did not achieve the .500 mark, but the message had been sent. The Blue Jays could come back into the AL Wild Card Race.

The Blue Jays lead the MLB in ERA with 3.55 and complete games (13). Ace Roy Halladay and A.J. Burnett have been carrying the work load combining to pitch 437.1 innings and a combined 412 strikeouts. Unfortunately, their records have not really shown that with Halladay being 18-11 and Burnett 18-10. Still, the long innings these two pitch have helped to craft a very young bullpen still getting the hang of things. The only big name in the ‘pen is B.J. Ryan and has converted 30/34 save opportunities with 57 K – a solid season coming off Tommy John surgery. So, if you have pitching, you should be able to win games, right?

Well, let’s look at fielding, which was a problem for the Jays last year. After bringing in a slew of NL players in the offseason, the Jays are 6th in fielding percentage at .986. The defense is good, the pitching is fantastic. And the have a great offense already don’t they? With Rios and Wells? Not exactly…

Here is the struggle for Toronto: Offense. You can’t win games if you can’t get runs. Halladay doesn’t get you 5 runs for throwing a complete game, so the offense has needed to step up. Unfortunately, it has a little too late. Toronto is batting .265 on the season, good for 14th in the majors. A big problem has been missing ad that is a big bat in the lineup. Without Frank Thomas to protect young Rios and Wells, there have only been 117 homers hit out by Jays players: 25th in MLB.

Let’s focus a little bit more specifically on the offense. Believe it or not, there is not one Blue Jay that has 20 HR. The closest is Alex Rios with 17. Pitiful. Unacceptable in this day and age of the long ball. GM Ricciardi MUST address this in the offseason. If it means giving up a young pitcher or two, do it. You have got to manufacture runs. Keep in mind though, the Blue Jays have been bitte by the injury bug a lot this year, which they have the last two years. Only 3 players have played over 106 games (Overbay, Rios, Scutaro). Rios has been the money man for the Jays though, leaving me wondering if the Rios for Lincecum deal would have went through in the offseason if the Jays could do anything offensively. Rios has hit the most home runs, hits, doubles, and stolen bases. He can’t do everything though. He has got to have help. OF Vernon Wells just has never been the same since that huge deal a couple years ago.

There has been hope though! The last 30 days, the Jays are 4th in batting average, 4th in hits and the top 10 for most hitting categories in the MLB. They can do it. As much as I hate saying wait until next year, Jays fans, we are going to have to. Ricciardi will lose the big Burnett salary and hopefully can bring in some serious hitters, while keeping the main core of pitching together (Halladay, Marcum, McGowan, Litsch). Perhaps maybe bringing in a good arm or two for the bullpen. Maybe the slogan next year will be “Not the Rays, it’s the Jays!” Boston continues to get old, and the Yankees are a complete mess. It could very well be the Rays and Jays becoming the new Boston and New York. Now, wouldn’t that be something?

-Ray

September 18, 2008 Posted by | Baseball | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

And It All Comes Down To This…

With the summer coming to an end and all the hype about the upcoming fall lineup, let’s not forget about what baseball fans consider to be the best time of the year. On September 1st, teams across the MLB will call up young prospects and players who they feel will help their push for the pennant, as the rosters increase from 25 players to 40 players. With all but one division up for grabs, who knows what the month of September could entail for the avid baseball fans.

In April, no one could have predicted that on August 26th the Rays would be leading the AL East and that the Marlins would be only 5.5 games out of first place in the NL East. With the Rays being lead by a mix of young up and coming athletes and those veterans that have stuck around while there were more players on the field than fans in the stadium, and the Marlins, who after losing Miguel Cabrera were basically overlooked by everyone at the beginning of the season, the state of Florida as witnessed one of the most improbable summers. The Rays are second in power rankings and have won more games this season than any season before, and the closer we get to October, it looks like Tropicana Field is going to be able to host its first playoff game in team history. The Marlins are being lead by the left side of their infield. Jorge Cantu, replacing the departed Miguel Cabrera, and Hanley Ramirez, who together have 50 home runs and are both batting close to .300 on the season, have led the Marlins just 5.5 games back of the East leading Mets. With 6 games left (3 home, 3 away) with both the Mets and the Phillies, the next 5 weeks are gonna be of much importance to the Marlins. A series sweep to either team, and you can possibly count the Marlins out.

The one question that remains to be asked is if the title is coming back to Chicago. Both teams currently lead their respecitive divisons, and right now the Chicago Cubs are the front runners in the National League. Having won 8 straight series, and the Brewers and the Cardinals meeting up in St. Louis this week, the Cubs have a good chance of extending their division leading record over both the Brewers and the Cards. The Chicago White Sox are locked in a battle with the Minnesota Twins. The White Sox need to take advantage of the Twins extended road trip, the longest in some 39 years. The White Sox need to win as many games now because starting on September 15th, the White Sox head for a 10 game roadtrip, which include their last stop at Yankee Stadium for a four game series, and a quick stop inside the Metrodome, with a series with the Royals in between. Saying both Chicago teams are going to make it into October is a stretch, but odds are, at least one of them will.

Out west, the Angels have their division wrapped up. All three teams in their division, are over 15 games out of first place, and with their pickup of Mark Teixiera, its safe to say the Angels are in the playoffs. The Dbacks and the Dodgers have been flip-flopping back and forth all season long. The Dbacks picked up Adam Dunn and the Dodgers picked up Manny Ramirez, so expect both teams to be competing long into September.

Sports fans, its time to sit back and relax as we are getting ready to hit the most exciting time of the MLB season. Lets see if the Rays can hold onto their division lead, and get used to hearing Steve Goodman’s “Go Cubs Go” because simply, the Cubs are unbeatable at the friendly confines of Wrigley Field, and are basically a lock to be playing late into October.

-Nathan

August 26, 2008 Posted by | Baseball | , , , , , , | Leave a comment